The larval endoparasitoid, Neochrysocharis formosa (Westwood), is an important natural enemy of the leafminer Liriomyza trifolii (Burgess) in Japan. The thelytokous strain of N. formosa mostly produces female progeny. Male progeny were produced by females treated with tetracycline, suggesting that microorganisms induce thelytoky in N. formosa. The result of nucleotide sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene indicated that the parasitoid is infected with a Rickettsia bacterium, which appears to be causative of the thelytoky. Although Rickettsia-bellii-like bacteria have been found to be associated with various reproductive disorders, this is the first finding of a parthenogenesis-inducing Rickettsia among insects.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology